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Grande Messe des Morts [Double CD]

Gabrieli Consort and Players , Wroclaw Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir , Berlioz , Paul McCreesh Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: 21.44 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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 : Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Grande Messe des Morts + A New Venetian Coronation, 1595 (Gramophone Award Winner 2013 - Early Music Catagory)
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Product details

  • Conductor: Paul McCreesh
  • Composer: Berlioz
  • Audio CD (3 Oct 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Double CD
  • Label: Signum Classics
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 45,339 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Requiem et KyrieGabrieli Consort & Players11:14Album Only
Listen  2. Dies IraeGabrieli Consort & Players12:52Album Only
Listen  3. Quid sum miserGabrieli Consort & Players 3:320.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Rex tremendaeGabrieli Consort & Players 6:150.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Quaerens meGabrieli Consort & Players 4:090.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. LacrimosaGabrieli Consort & Players10:19Album Only
Listen  7. OffertoriumGabrieli Consort & Players 9:570.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. HostiasGabrieli Consort & Players 3:470.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. SanctusGabrieli Consort & Players12:50Album Only
Listen10. Agnus DeiGabrieli Consort & Players13:40Album Only

Product Description

Product Description

The first in a new series of releases from the world-renowned conductor Paul McCreesh and his Gabrieli Consort. Called 'Winged Lion' (the symbol of Venice and of St Mark, as well as the Gabrieli Consort), the label will release recordings of Renaissance and Baroque repertoire, as well as large-scale 19th- and 20th-century oratorio, including on the near horizon, Howells´ Requiem Recorded in Poland as part of the Wratislava Cantans Festival (of which McCreesh is artistic director) this staggering performance of Berlioz´s `Grand Mass for the Dead´ is produced by a force of over 400 performers - drawn from the Gabrieli Consort and Players, the Wroclaw Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir and students from Chetham´s School of Music. Future releases with McCreesh will include Mendelssohn´s Elijah [with Simon Keenlyside] , Haydn´s The Seasons, Britten´s War Requiem and a re-recording of their famed disc A Venetian Coronation, about which Gramophone had said: Without doubt, this is one of the finest records of Italian Renaissance polyphony to appear for a long time"". The year also marks the ensemble´s 30th anniversary, and the 400th anniversary of the death of Giovanni Gabrieli whose music, along with that of Andrea Gabrieli, features on the recording. Founded in 1982 by artistic director Paul McCreesh, the Gabrieli Consort & Players are world-renowned interpreters of great choral and instrumental repertoire, spanning from the Renaissance to the present day. Their performances encompass virtuosic a cappella programmes, mould-breaking reconstructions of music for historical events and major works from the oratorio tradition. With Paul McCreesh, the Gabrielis are regular visitors to the world´s most prestigious concert halls and festivals and have built a large and distinguished discography.

Product Description

SIGN 280; SIGNUM RECORDS - Inghilterra; Classica vocale Sacra Messe

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A REVELATION 14 May 2012
By Klingsor Tristan VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
What a revelation this performance of Berlioz's Messe des Morts this is. I've always admired the work for its drama, its theatricality, its stunning orchestration and its sheer originality. But I've never quite managed to fall in love with its music qua music. McCreesh's performance here, with his massed forces fully meeting all Berlioz's extravagant demands, has finally convinced me - overwhelmed me even.

First there is the sound. The (presumably) grand spaces of the Gothic church of Mary Magdalene in Wroclaw produce the kind of vast perspectives envisaged by the composer for its original performance in les Invalides in Paris. The engineers have captured the long reverberation time perfectly. I notice that one of the American reviewers worries about the loss of clarity this results in. But surely Berlioz, with his incredibly acute ear, had precisely this in mind when he wrote the piece. That reviewer is also concerned about the length of some of the pauses in the music, but again this is surely Berlioz allowing the acoustic of the building to speak, to allow for that long reverberation - Berlioz often marks whole bar+ rests with Silence and G.P. written above them to allow for this long decay. Whether in those intensely quiet passages for choir with a minimum of instruments or no instruments at all or in the vast panoply of brass bands, massed timpani and singers going flat out, aural spatial perspective enhances the content of this music no end.

But it is the musicality of this performance that makes it so distinguished. McCreesh is really inside Berlioz's unique, sometimes strange, occasionally apparently eccentric musical idiom. He understands so well the importance of melody in Berlioz's writing.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive recording? 24 Oct 2011
Format:MP3 Download|Verified Purchase
I've got three recordings of this now: Charles Munch's 1959 recording which in remastered form is critically acclaimed but lacks the thunderous tympani required for the Tuba Mirum (presume that the recording technology of the day wouldn't cope); James Levine's 1992 version with Pavarotti which has the thunder but very muted brass and, tenor solos apart, is less convincing overall and now Paul McCreesh.

I've liked virtually all of McCreesh's work so needed little convincing to buy. Typically, he goes for it in a big way with huge forces of over 400 (it requires tenor solo, chorus - his has over 200 voices, large orchestra and four brass ensembles) but absolutely nails it with subtlety in the quieter sections to counterbalance the fire and brimstone. For me, this is the one I've been waiting for. It is a little slower than the other versions (overall 3-4 minutes longer than the other versions I own), but never drags.

Typically, the attention to detail is what colours the sound and makes this such a vital recording. For example, he uses 16 nineteenth century tympani and had sticks specially made in the style that would have been used in Belioz's day. You can also expect period brass including the Ophicleide. He was however defeated when trying to source 100 gut strung stringed instruments, but ensures that they are played in a period style. All very typical McCreesh and a must have for your collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Overwhelming 6 Jan 2014
Format:Audio CD
By the time I had reached the end of the Tuba Mirum my spine was tingling. You could rightly think that this is the expected response to hearing any recording of the Grande Messe of Berlioz, but as the owner of the Davis, Maazel, Previn and Inbal recordings (as well as hearing Levine and Munch) I can promise you that none compare to this staggering rendition.

Never have I heard such an evenly balanced chorus - often the tenors are lost or thin-out in the demanding upper registers required, but you only need to hear the Te Decet Hymnus to realise the quality of singing. The perspective is perfect - an immense choir that's somewhere in the distance, but not too far, and yet not a syllable or a note is lost.

The sound is absolutely wonderful - nothing is lost, and for a work of this size that's no small task. You can feel the reverberation after the fortissimos end, which only accentuates the "tingle" effect.

McCreesh honours the textures and richness of the score, and the period instruments add to that experience building to moments when you really can understand why people fainted at the premier.

I think it's easily the best recording of the Berlioz Requiem, even with my attachment to the Previn on EMI. You should not hesitate to get it. A recording I know I will listen to again and again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 10 July 2014
By Bruce
Format:Audio CD
This is really rather stunning.
A first rate performance with an excellent recording to bring out the best in Berlioz's quite rightly title GRANDE Messe des Morts!
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6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Hesitate 27 Nov 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Just wonderful! Authentic period instruments, played with gusto, making a fabulous sound. Can't be faulted for excitement, authenticity, performance - the lot.
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